The Pooled Procurement Programme of the National Catholic Health Service is an initiative started 2012 by the Directorate of Health and approved by the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference.
It seeks to assist NCHS institutions to better provide services to basically rural and semi-urban communities where they operate. It is partly also informed by the fact that the menace of counterfeit medicines is pervasive in the areas where the NCHS facilities operate.
The design of the Programme moves away from the traditional approach to pooled procurements. This is because the NCHS has employed that approach in the past and it failed due to many reasons, both on the part of the institutions and suppliers. The current system is a contract-based pooled procurement.
The purpose of the Programme is to assist the institutions purchase high quality medicines and other non-drug medical supplies at an affordable price.
In doing this, the focus is on ensuring availability, cost effectiveness, efficiency of these health commodities are achieved.
- To prevent counterfeit and fake medicines and non-drug inputs from entering the National Catholic Health Service system; and
- To reduce the cost at which medicines and medical consumables are purchased by the institutions if they did so individually.
The Programme is under the control and direction of a Board (Pooled Procurement Task Force) appointed directly by the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC). Accordingly, the Board is responsible to the GCBC.
The Board is supported by the Directorate of Health and a dedicated Secretariat for the Programme. The Secretariat manages and monitors the relationship between suppliers and institutions.
The Secretariat basically monitors supplies and payments between supplies and institutions. It does so by obtaining and analysing data. It also plans and executes post-market surveillance and testing of samples.
The Secretariat plans and obtains samples from institutions for testing all year round. Confirmatory tests are also undertaken with the Food & Drugs Authority.